Sunday, June 22, 2014

Samana to Cap Cana

The Samana Peninsula has one of the world's most beautiful beaches according to Conde nast. I would hate to be the one making that sort of call, you will inevitably make more enemies than friends.

Eva at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Playa Rincon, Samana DR.
The roads are really nice, and wind through the mountains, and small villages, and at perfect intervals, "Bam!", a spectacular view of mountain, valley, and ocean, all rolled together like a Twinkie. We planned our day-drives to be loops, returning to the marina at the end of each day. The area called Terrenas was very touristy although naturally beautiful. If you like getting a little-for-a-lot, this is your kinda place.
The beach at Las Terrenas.

Las Terrenas.

What happens when you have more money than sense? A boat building!
You can tell that you have city kids by how impressed they are when they see a cow. The closer the cows are to the fence, the more excited the kids got. A burro just takes it over the top!
The kids were amazed by the cows.
We were looking to have lunch at a town called "Las Galeras". Being the slow season, we didn't have a lot of options. Hadrian is the biggest challenge to feed. He hates all that is different, won't try it without multiple death threats from me. I don't always have the fight in me. A pizza restaurant set off all the bells whistles, so we pulled up. These guys were really from Italy, no second generation here. They didn't speak English or Spanish which made me wonder what would bring a person out to this remote area, so distanced from their paisanos. They must have killed someone in Italy? Just to thicken the plot, it was their first day open, no menus yet, but hey, you don't really need a menu for a pepperoni pizza. Well think again, what this guy knew as pepperoni was really red peppers. Even then it was no "New York" style pizza. The ingredients were sparse to say the least, we're talking famine. There was a randomly-placed smidgen of cheese, like it was caviar. Poor Hadrian couldn't make the correlation between the piece of "flat bread" that laid before him, and the picture of a pepperoni pizza embossed in his memory banks, so I ate the pita, it was fuel.
The "Resort and Marina Puerto Bahia" is the lap of luxury. Like many other places around the Caribbean, the economy really hit it hard. They are just holding on, waiting for better times to come, a common theme out here. There is something to be said about deep pockets, wish I had one.
Eva had a spa day.

I had a bar day.

This is a 2nd story infinity edge pool. The view blends right into the ocean.
One of the quirky perks that they offer is a one-way ride into town, getting back is your problem. Out here, you take what you can get, so off we were into town. We decided to have dinner at a Chinese restaurant figuring there has to be a common denominator. I must say that it was closer to what we are used to than the Italians were. We enjoyed walking the town until the sun went down, and began to contemplate how we would be getting home. The public transportation mode of choice were these small motorcycles with a trailer hitched to the back. They could seat 4. By the time we were ready to engage the motoconcho's they all seem to have gone home. We walked along briskly in search of one, and caught the last one still running. The marina, at about 3 miles away, is about the limit for these vehicles, and the guy was hesitant, but it would be a nice close on a hard day's work. I offered him 300 pesos, and he brightened right up. We all got in, and he started his little 100cc 2-stroke motor. The little bumble bee came to life with the roar of a model airplane. Now this is very hilly terrain, that motor had to pull the whole contraption up, and down the hills, not easy. The little motor screamed at full throttle as smoke from the oil laden fuel streamed from the exhaust-pipe. We had to move our heads around looking for a patch of clean air to inhale. Half of our jockey's game plan was based on momentum. If he could get it all going fast enough on the down hill side, well then he could make it up the other side. As I studied the physics of all that was going on, I was drawing on very probable unfavorable conclusions to this "wild toad ride". If we were to have to stop on an uphill, the ride would be over. The little motor would not have the power to get us moving uphill, but scarier yet was that I determined that while on the downhill run our driver would not have the ability to stop because the trailer had no brakes. Once on the downhill, he would be 100% committed...unless he jumped off, but where would that leave us? Well, it was time to pray, again. When we safely got back to the marina, they didn't allow the motoconcho in past the gate. The marina sent a car out to get us. They didn't want the motoconcho's on the property because they were too dangerous.
I have reworked the lip between the front hatch and the deck. It is now weather tight, even under pressure. We have a really nice weather window ahead of us. The run from Samana to Marina Cap Cana is about 90 miles. The only catch is that the wind will be on the nose if at all. It will take us about 24 hours to motor this leg of the trip. 
I found this at the deli counter, little smoked Peruvian fart, literally translated.

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